GraphQL, which we have been hearing a lot lately, is used to load data from the server to a client. GraphQL describes itself as “a query language for your APIs”. GraphQL database technology should not be misled. GraphQL is an API query language, so GraphQL is not dependent on any database or storage engine. Instead, it is fed from your existing code and data.
Let’s talk about the advantages of GraphQL technology, which is getting more and more popular, for developers.
Advantages of GraphQL
Querying Only Required Fields
Let’s say we’re developing an API. Let’s assume that there is a mobile application and a web application that will use this API, and these applications have a product listing on their homepage. However, while listing these products, let’s assume that we need to show title, description, created date and image fields in the web application, while we need to show only the title and image fields in the mobile application.
If we were developing this service as Rest API, all the fields of the posts on the homepage would return to the client as a result of this Rest API. However, only two fields are needed on the mobile application side. Despite this, the data that was not needed still had to come to us from the API. This is a situation that will increase network traffic as the application grows.
But if we had developed this service with GraphQL, we would not have such an obligation. Because with GraphQL, we can write custom queries only for the fields we want.
A single API Endpoint
In Rest-based applications, it is often necessary to create more than one endpoint for different situations. For example, an endpoint that brings the product list, such as an endpoint that brings the product by id. This list will of course get longer.
However, when we look at the GraphQL side of the business, we do not have to deal with such a confusion of endpoints. A single endpoint waiting for requests on the GraphQL side welcomes us. We have to make all our requests here. And we have the possibility to fetch more than one data in the same Query.
As soon as you start designing your GraphQL schemas, documents are automatically created.
Use Cases for GraphQL APIs
The first advantage of using GraphQL for developers is that it reduces the cost of network traffic. For example, if more than one client uses your REST APIs, which you have developed in traditional ways, and this Rest API contains different areas used by more than one client, a data pollution will occur here. This data pollution goes to all clients using your Rest API and increases your network traffic cost. Just in this case, using GraphQL will save you from both network costs and data pollution. Client applications will only receive whichever fields they need from the response model.
Another usage scenario is if the service you develop will change over time and take on new new structures, it will be advantageous to prefer GraphQL. If it will be developed with the Rest API, versioning will be required. You will have Rest APIs in ever-growing and increasing versions. There is no need for versioning in GraphQL. The client has the flexibility to extract the desired data.
New solutions are emerging every day in the face of developing technology and changing needs. If you think GraphQL will be a good solution for the applications you will develop, you can get detailed information from the link here and start using GraphQL.